Friday, December 23, 2011

Enjoy the Holidays - More FREE Shipping from APS!

So you're cozied up on the couch at your great aunt's house and zoning out. It's not that you don't want to hear about which cat has what health issue or what uncle Frank did with the leftover meatloaf - it's just that daydreaming about Key West is lulling you into such a great mood. The blue water, the rum punch, your cool new team gear...

Don't snap out of it. You can smile and nod - and keep your dream alive! Smell that salt water?

Are you ready to turn your dream into a reality? Ready to make this regatta your best yet? To send it this season? If so, APS is wants to support you.

You already know we're a company of sailors committed to providing you with the most comprehensive selection of performance sailing products and services. What you may not know is - we're giving you FREE Ground Shipping on orders over $50* from now until New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Year End Sales and Promotions Coming to an End!

Ahh!!! It's that scene in the movie where giant gorillas are knocking down skyscrapers, stomping on smart cars devoid of people, and making terrible noises with teeth beared.  Run for the hills - and try to stop screaming so loudly!  The deals are ending!!

Well, maybe you're right. It might not be that dramatic - but it is kind of a bummer...

If you're interested in getting FREE gear before year-end, read the following closely:

Promotion What do you get? What do you have to do? End Date
Henri Lloyd FREE Men's or Women's Bibs or a Storm Barrel Gear Bag Buy 1 of 3 Jackets - The Vista, Women's Vista, Atmosphere, or Symphony Dec 24th
Gill FREE Cable Knit Beanie and/or a Personal Rescue Knife Purchase $150 - $300 worth of Gill Gear (Redemption Coupon) Dec 28th
LaserPerformance FREE GoPro Buy a Boat (To take advantage, contact John Maloney at 800.729.9767) Dec 31st
McLaughlin FREE Dolly, Bottom Cover, or Race Sail Buy a Boat (FREE Gear Coupon) Dec 31st
Steiner Money-back! Purchase Marine Series Binoculars (Send in Rebate Form) Dec 31st

*For those of you who do not recognize him, the image above has been borrowed from the 1933 film King Kong and represents the title character. Although King Kong may not be a sailor, we're sure he'd take a liking to these deals in their final count down!

Monday, December 19, 2011

How to Care for a Dry Suit - Lubricating Zippers, Conditioning Latex Seals, Packing, and Storing

A dry suit is a major investment, and if you take care of it - you should get several years of serviceable life out of your suit. In the video below, APS President Kyle Gross gives you a coaching session on how to care for your suit properly.

There are five major areas of focus when caring for a dry suit:
Overall Care
Latex Socks & Seals
Properly Packing your Dry Suit for Travel
Properly Storing your Dry Suit - In General and in the Off Season

Overall Care

When you don your suit in the elements, you expose all exterior components of the suit to salt, chemicals floating on the surface of the water, and other contaminants. Additionally, you expose the interior components of the suit to oils on your skin and vapors from the moisture your body expels.

To ensure the longest life possible from your dry suit, it is important that you rinse both the inside and outside of your suit with fresh water every single time you wear the suit. Several sailors who wear dry suits, wear their suits straight into the shower after a day of sailing to rinse the exterior.  After the shower rinse - take the suit off, turn it inside out, hang it on a hanger (folded over like trousers - not like a dress shirt), and rinse the interior.  Leave to dry completely before storing it.  (Keep reading for tips on how to properly store your dry suit.)


Be diligent about keeping the zipper of your dry suit lubricated. (Note: If the zipper fails, it’s very expensive to replace so you should invest some time into maintaining it.) In the first dry suit videos, you learned there are two kinds of dry suit zippers: the T-Zip and the Metal Zipper.

The T-Zip Zipper - as found in the Henri Lloyd TP1 Pace Dry Suit – keeps the cost of the suit down but requires a little more maintenance than a metal zipper. If not well lubricated, T-Zips tend to "pop open." If your zipper does this, lubricate the open zipper, run it all the way to the bottom, and re-zip.

We recommend using Zip Tech (which kind of reminds us of an oversize chap stick) to lubricate both the T-Zip Zippers and Metal Zippers. To lubricate, open the zipper, wind out the Zip Tech stick, and rub the Zip Tech over the teeth of the zipper until you get a nice, light coating. Again, the T-Zip requires lubricating quite frequently.

The other zipper that was discussed in the first two Dry Suit videos is the Metal zipper. The same Zip Tech product can be used to lubricate these. It's easy to identify when you should lubricate metal zippers. As soon as they have resistance when closing, it's time.

There is another product on the market that cleans and lubricates both types of zippers. It is called Zip Care. With it's brush applicator, you can get down into the teeth of the zipper to make sure the it's clean of any debris, etc.

Latex Socks & Seals

The Henri Lloyd and Gill Dry Suits have latex socks, while the Kokatat and Musto Dry Suits feature Latex wrist seals - making this next section quite important. You want to keep the water out after all, don't you?

Latex dry suit socks and seals are specifically susceptible to degradation caused by chemicals and salt in the water where you sail and oils on your skin.  To keep your latex in good shape, you should condition the latex on your suit with a product called Seal Saver.  Seal Saver prevents dry rot and thereby increases the longevity of your suit. Note: Conditioning latex with Seal Saver reminds us of using Armor All on the interior of a car - it kind of shines it up, makes the black look blacker.

Be sure to condition the latex on your suit - but don't over do it. If you over condition, the latex will soften too much. A good idea is to condition the latex at the end of the season before storing your suit for the off season and conditioning at the beginning of the season to create a protective layer that will help defend the latex from the elements. Also, if you get a lot of wear out of your suit, feel free to condition every once in a while during the season.

Note:  Neoprene seals do not need to be conditioned.  However, be sure they are rinsed well with fresh water.

Properly Packing your Dry Suit for Travel

Don't crumple and or stuff your suit! You can cause serious damage to the zipper when you're packing a suit. The proper way to pack it is to lay out a completely dry dry suit, front down with zipper zipped. Starting from the feet, and roll your suit up. All of the air will be squeezed out of the suit, and the zipper will be resting in a compressed state. Fold arm over arm. The suit will be as small as it will get. Remember, this is how you can travel with your suit - not how you store it. Do not leave it like this in direct sunlight, in high heat, or for extended periods of time.

Properly Storing your Dry Suit - In General and in the Off Season

When storing your suit, make sure it's clean and dry. If you haven't already, pull out a hanger. Do not hang your dry suit like a dress shirt by the shoulders and neck as this will create unnecessary wear on the neck seal. Rather, fold the suit over the hanger at the waist almost as you would a pair of slacks. Stick the suit at the back of a cool, dry closet.

If you are putting your suit away for the off season, condition the latex one final time with Seal Saver. This will prevent dry rot, and your suit will be ready to go at the start of the next season.

Replacement Dry Suit Seals & Video

Now that you know how to properly care for your dry suit, you might be curious how to fix/replace seals if they tear or how to take care of the fabric making up your dry suit. Click here for that information.

We wish your dry suits long and prosperous lives!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Your Dry Suit Questions Answered

Ever wonder how to properly maintain your Dry Suit? Or what the difference is for a Metal Zipper v. a T-zipper? Do you know the proper way put a dry suit on?

In the following videos, APS President Kyle Gross gets in front of the camera and goes through the features, fit, and care of a Dry Suit in 3 videos that aim to answer all the questions you may have about Dry Suits. After all, if you’re going to invest in a Dry Suit, you’ll want to know everything there is to know so you get the longest life and maximum wear out it.

Part I – What is a Dry Suit? Features of a Quality Dry Suit.

A Dry Suit is a one piece suit that keeps you completely dry. You enter into, close up, and everything except your head and hands will stay completely dry – even if you decide to go swimming. To be clear, a dry suit is a shell - it's not a warm piece. You will have to wear layers underneath depending on the conditions outside. Also, you should wear protective boots (specifically, dinghy boots) over your dry suit to protect the dry suits's waterproof socks.

In general, dry suits are made of waterproof breathable materials that will allow moisture to escape while you wear them so you can be comfortable and not clammy. Men's suits are front entry. A zipper runs diagonally across the body so the wearer can put the suit on and take it off without help. The suits have neck and wrist seals to keep the water out and socks/boots to protect your feet.

APS Stocks 4 Dry Suits –

Gore-Tex Front Entry Dry Suit by Kokatat
Front-Zip Breathable Dry Suit by Gill
TP1 Pace Dry Suit by Henri Lloyd
MPX Gore-Tex Dry Suit by Musto

Here's the Breakdown:

Dry Suit Fabric Zipper Neck & Wrist Seals Socks
Gore-Tex Front Entry Dry Suit by Kokatat Gore-Tex Metal Optiseal Latex (Neoprene over top to protect) Gore-Tex
Front-Zip Breathable Dry Suit by Gill 5-Dot, 3-Layer Fabric Metal Dynat Neoprene Latex
TP1 Pace Dry Suit by Henri Lloyd TP1 Fabric T-Zip Neoprene Latex
MPX Gore-Tex Dry Suit by Musto Gore-Tex Metal Dynat Latex (Fabric tabs over top to protect) Latex

*Some Dry Suits have relief zipper options for men. Please click through above links to view details.

Different suits have different kinds of zippers, though all styles at this point have zippers running diagonally across the chest and torso of the suit. There are metal zippers as seen in Kokatat's Gore-Tex Front Entry Dry Suit, Gill's Front-Zip Breathable Dry Suit, and Musto's MPX Gore-Tex Dry Suit. Overall, we prefer metal zippers as we feel they get a longer service life than non-metal options. With that said, Henri Lloyd's TP1 Pace Dry Suit has a T-zipper, which is also a good option.

Seals – Latex v. Neoprene
Latex is stretchy and comfortable. Neoprene slightly more rugged – some think it's not as comfortable or flexible, but it's definitely a little more durable. You'll notice in the table above that the suits that have latex seals have reinforcements over top to protect the latex. For example, the Kokatat Dry Suit has a neoprene guard, and the Musto Dry Suit has fabric tabs that secure over the latex.

*Note – you will learn more about caring for a Dry Suit in Video III.

Options include latex socks (booties) or a Gore-Tex Kokatat sock. Both options are completely waterproof. The advantage of the Gore-Tex sock is that it’s breathable, whereas the latex is not. Also, Gore-Tex socks are also easier to slide into a boot you'll want to wear over top your dry suit to protect it.

Part II – How to Put a Dry Suit On & The Proper Fit

First, you need to put on your layers. Wear base and mid layers to keep you as warm as you need to be depending on the conditions. Wear wicking socks to keep moisture away from your feet and/or wool socks to keep your feet warm. Remember not to wear any cotton, which will retain moisture and can leave you damp and cold.

Dry Suits are now front entry. Step into it one foot at a time. To work your way into the rest of it - always start on the side the zipper goes to. (For clarification on this, please be sure to watch the video.) Be sure to pull up on the dry suit to give yourself some extra shoulder room so you can duck down into it.

Slide your hand through the sleeve. In doing this, be careful not to "punch" your hand through the wrist seals – especially the latex seals. You don't want to damage them. Using your opposite hand, open the seal so you have room to slide your other hand through the wrist seal. Put your hand through the seal, and lay the seal flat against your wrist.

Next, pull the suit up again, and put your other arm through being as careful with the wrist seal as you were with your other hand.

Now, it's time for the neck seal. Pull the suit completely up to give yourself some room, duck, gather the neck seal with your hands, open it up, and pull the seal over your head as you extend your neck and stand up.

When you zip up your dry suit – pull the zipper along it’s axis. Trust us, you don’t’ want to break it. It’s a pretty spendy fix. Pull the zip until it’s completely closed.

To deflate the suit to streamline your fit - open the neck seal, crouch to squeeze out all the air, close the seal while you’re still crouching, and stand up. You’ll notice the suit is sucked tight against your body.

If you’re fitting a suit, remember to make sure you leave room for layers. Good tests to be sure you get the perfect fit are to hug your shoulders to feel for freedom of movement across the back of your shoulders - or to drop to one knee and raise your arms straight into the air. If you feel constricted in the area of your underarms, it’s safe to say you should size up.

Here's a little something more about the seals:

The suits have been designed with rings (cut guides) on the wrist and neck seals that let you customize the size of the opening of the seal. They come tight, but you can stretch the latex seals using glass bottles or something similar. Though, we do not always recommend cutting the seal - if you need to, you can. The suits have been designed with rings (cut guides) that let you customize the size of the opening of the seal. If you're going to cut them, be sure to stretch the seal at least overnight (12+ hours) as this will help make sure you don't cut too much. When you finally do pull out the scissors, cut straight across the seal. Do not create any nicks that could later tear. Also, know that neoprene becomes a little more forgiving when it's wet.

Once you have your suit on and zipped, the next step is to put on your boots. Wearing boots rather than just shoes ensures you protect the whole drysuit sock so you don’t damage the suie on something inside the boat. Remember, you will have a thick pair of warm socks (example: Smartwool Socks) under your drysuit and a drysuit bootie over that, which means you might need to get a larger pair of boots meant specifically for wear with your drysuit. Also, if your boots are too tight over top your dry suit, the captive air will not move around your feet, and you'll be very cold. We recommend the Gill One Design boot.

If you have a Kokatat dry suit with Gore-Tex socks, you won't have any trouble as Gore-Tex will slide easily against the neoprene of your boots.

The latex socks found on all the other suits are not durable enough to be doing any walking around. You’ll want to put boots on right away. Once you have the proper size boots, you’ll need to put them on - which is harder than it sounds. The latex drysuit socks is very sticky against the neoprene found inside boots, and you are sure to find it helpful to invest in an inexpensive pair of Gill Drysuit socks. They are super thin but make a world of difference.

One final thing. In general, don't be afraid to size up when it comes to dry suits. The more room you have inside your dry suit, the more air you'll have circulating inside it and the warmer you'll be. Not even Kim Kardashian looks good in a dry suit.

If you have questions about sizing for a Dry Suit, call the APS Customer Service at 800-729-9767.

Hang tight for Video III - How to Care for your Dry Suit so it Lasts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

APS Pro Splicing Kit - One of the Best Sailing Gifts Ever

‘Tis the Season of gift giving... and yes, it’s perfectly natural to feel some personal gear lust as you’re out there shopping around. There’s already been a fair bit of buzz going on about the APS Pro Splicing Kit – and the author of the post below (and creator of the kit) says this would be at the top of his list if he didn’t have all the components already. Read on as APS Customer Service Manager Aaron F. says a little something about the newest addition to the APS product offering…

When I came to APS, I had done a fair amount of sailing and quite a bit of fiberglass and woodwork on boats, but never had I done any rigging. When I saw the rigging setup here at the shop and the type of work the riggers produced, I knew I wanted to learn.

Slowly, I’ve been learning how to do some of the splices and rope work that the APS rigging department expertly makes every day. Like many other things in life, a big part of easily making proper splices and tapers is having the right tools. For this reason, I set myself up with a rigging kit that included all of the tools that I need to splice on the go.

Since using my personal rigging kit, quite a few people have commented that it is a pretty nice setup. I had been reluctant to put a kit like this together for fear of our rigger John Lund losing business, however now that his daughter has successfully graduated college and found a job, I can in good conscience bring you the APS Pro Rigging Kit. This rigging kit includes all of the tools that you need to do expert ropework for everything from splicing the 7/64” AmSteel Blue to splicing and tapering a 7/16” high tech double braid like Endurabraid, and everything in between.

The tools are all high quality, professional grade and with the exception of replacing the whipping twine or rigging tape when you run out, this kit in its durable Harken bag will last you a very, very long time.

Happy Holidays

So what exactly is in the kit?


Vinyl Tape and Marlow Rigging Tape 
Splicing Needle
Economy Palm (Right Hand) 
Harken Carrying Bag

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Star Rigging - Perth Style

Former APS employee Ian Coleman is down in Perth, Western Australia getting ready for the ISAF Worlds. Racing with Andrew Campbell in the Star Fleet, the skipper and crew want to do well.  If they do, they will have the opportunity to represent the US in the London Olympics in summer 2012.

Sailing at such a high level all the time wreaks havoc on rigging. For example, Ian estimates all of the Star's running rigging needs to be replaced twice a year, which for them means 2-3 major events including at least 1 week (often times more) of practice leading up to each event...  Most of these events take a week or more.  To make a long story short - let's just say, this isn’t your grandmother’s rigging.

To be sure all their rigging is up to the task for the big event, Ian worked to put together some control lines, sheets, and running rigging for the boat. Here's what he came up with:

Fine Tune Backstay 5:1 and Checkstay 4:1

Ian used two colors of 1/4" Marlow Excel Fusion, Harken Hardware, and custom made DSL Attachments to make these examples of the Star's control lines. Fusion was chosen because it's easy on the hands. We're not sure if skipper Andrew Campbell wears gloves - but if he goes au naturel, we know why this is a top choice line for him.  If feels that good.  It also has low stretch, low creep - and is strong.


Jib Sheets

FSE Robline Dinghy Star was chosen for the jib sheets because it has the lowest stretch available in this diameter line. It's also the most abrasion-resistant. This Star program involves racing in 25 - 30 kts regattas often. These sheets will last 3 or 4 regattas, whereas other line choices would blow out after one.  Few lines wear out as quickly as jib sheets on a Star, and these sheets were made with that in mind.


Runner Tail

Maffioli DSK-75 Race PC was chosen for the runner tail because of it's low stretch. It also runs really well - it comes off the reel pretty stiff and has less of a tendency to hockle.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ian Coleman, APS Rigging, and Perth

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ian Coleman StarTwo weeks ago, Ian Coleman was in his home town – crashing at his parents’ house, visiting old friends, and sailing. If you were out after dark, you might have seen him toasting to good times at Davis’ or Rockfish. Pretty standard stuff for an Annapolitan.

What sets Ian apart from his peers is the fact he’s devoted the last two years of his life to qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. His program is currently ranked 4th in the World, and the upcoming weeks represent the culmination of all that hard work as Ian and Star skipper Andrew Campbell make their final preparations for the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) Sailing World Championships – the principal qualification regatta for 2012 Summer Games.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ian Coleman Star After running into Ian at the Annapolis Yacht Club during a break from Frostbiting, I asked Ian if I could interview him the next time he came in the shop. (After all, it’s a pretty big deal that a former APS staffer is on an Olympic track.) Despite being a bit publicity shy and trying to keep a level head before the major regatta, he agreed.

Here’s his insider’s perspective on getting ready for the ISAF Worlds:

Hi Ian. Whatcha doing?
Building control lines, sheets, and running rigging for the Star.

Getting ready for Perth?
Yes. Just doing the primary preventative maintenance before heading out. I’m replacing everything that’s showing wear that we really don’t want breaking during a big event.

Are you bringing extras of everything?
The old stuff will become the extras. We’ll be sure to have a full set of spare parts – line and hardware. You want to be confident in every part of your boat – you don’t want to be at the starting line and hear a dink at the top of the mast.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ian Coleman Star Rigging How’d you learn to do all this rigging?
I learned it here – working as the third rigger in the busy season.

What else have you gained from your relationship with APS?
Use of the rigging shop has been paramount. By far and away, it’s the best selection of line I’ve ever seen in one place. [APS] is really proactive about stocking all sizes and colors. They do such a good job of working towards carrying the best product lines – whether that be apparel, hardware, or line.

Will you tell me a little more about your work at APS and how you got involved in an Olympic track program?
I started working at APS in the Fall of 2007 and worked for almost two years in the storefront – and filled in during the summer in the rigging department.

The first really good program I got involved with was on a Melges 24 with Henry Filter. Ben Fransen was the first guy I started sailing Stars with. I started sailing the Southern Circuit and got exposure in Miami and Southern, Florida. Things took off from there.

Are you excited about heading to Perth?
Very excited. We’ve been training for 2 years, and it all comes down to this event. I feel like we’re ready for it, and we’ve put a lot of time into it. We’re going to arrive in Perth early so we can get the boat ready and settle in.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Hard Kore Kaenon Sunglasses I have to ask. What’s your favorite gear?
Kaenon Hard Kores. Sperry shoes when I’m dressing up. Actually, we’ll be testing new Sperry dinghy boots in Australia. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Finally, to sum it all up. What’s your take on the sport?
Sailing is a game of pattern recognition and understanding/being confident in your equipment. It’s all about practice and boat handling. A book I re-read on the plane when I’m on my way to big regattas: Stuart Walker’s Tactics of Small Boat Racing. Read it. It’s good.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Ian Coleman Star ___________________________

There are 11 races scheduled from December 11 to the 18th for the Star Fleet. Several of the world’s top sailors are down in Australia right at this moment giving it everything they’ve got. Everyone is hoping for good wind and a good showing.

To stay up to date on Andrew Campbell’s program, visit Ian would also like to send a shout out to their sponsors: US Sailing Team Alphagraphics, Sperry Top-Sider, Kaenon, Harken, Team McLube, and New England Ropes.

Action Sailing photo credits go out to Leandro Spina.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

APS/Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Jahn Tihansky

Seven years ago, if you had told Jahn Tihansky, owner J/ World Annapolis, that he would be the head coach of the U.S Naval Academy (USNA) varsity offshore sailing team, he would have told you that you were nuts.  With a sailing school to run, he wasn't exactly looking for work - certainly not the kind which would consume 60 or 70 hours per week in sailing season.  But, opportunity knocked.  After much debate, as well as some prodding from Annapolis sailor Gary Jobson, (who's a "rainmaker," says Tihansky), who assured him that it was the opportunity of a lifetime, the business owner had to quickly find a way to make his school run without him and immerse himself into his new challenging post.  Six years later, Coach T, as the midshipmen call him, is still surprised at his good fortune and how well the pieces have come together.

A native of Tampa, FL, Tihansky's family joined the Davis Island YC "because it had a pool."  Curiosity and courage enough to hitch a ride on a Cal 27 at the age of 12 led him deep into the sport. "The crew figured out that I'd do anything on the boat from open beers to set the spinnaker, so they taught me to sail," he says, which opened the door to yacht deliveries and many years of interesting racing experiences such as the 1978 Key West to Cuba Race.

After having run his own Sobstad loft as a young man and a stint at Sobstad's corporate headquarters in Connecticut, Tihansky moved to Annapolis where he worked for Sobstad for four years before his opportunity to run J/World Annapolis and in 1993, to buy the sailing school.  It was his brainchild, the J/World big boat winter training program - during which students would train for and successfully compete in big regattas such as the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race and Key West Race Week - that fit the type of coaching experience USNA was seeking.

What makes the USNA offshore sailing team unique is that beyond winning sailboat races, participation on the team counts as professional leadership development.  "Other sports just can't compare to a kid leading a team of seven to prepare a big boat to go to Bermuda or even down the Bay," says Tihansky, who says that coaches are on the boats as mentors, but the team runs the boat. "It's a huge responsibility to learn to take care of an asset and take care of teammates.  In the tough situations, that's when your character comes out - you're puking and cold.  It's 2 a.m., and you're called on watch.  The crew must perform.  They have to drive, trim sails, navigate, and compete.  We do sail to sail well.  In early November, Coach T's USNA varsity offshore sailing team clinched top honors in the Kennedy Cup, which serves as the intercollegiate Sailing Association's Offshore National Championship.  The team, led by senior skipper Dillon Foster, won five of nine races and beat the nine other teams that qualified for the event; among them were SUNY-Maritime, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and St. Mary's College.

Has anything surprised you about working at USNA?
The rate at which these kids climb the ladder is very high.  We will take five or six boats to Bermuda next summer and 40 percent of those kids will only have sailed for nine months.  They are on a fast track...I also hadn't considered how this job and the kids' level of fitness would keep me young.  I am fitter now than I used to be by just keeping up.  It's a perk.

What's your favorite place on the Bay?
I sail my A-Cat out of the West River SC in Galesville.  That's a neat little part of the world down there.

What are your non-sailing passions?
I fly.  I have a pilot's license and don't get out there nearly enough, so sometimes I take lessons.  I also have a work bench and like fixing stuff.

What's on your iPod?
I like old rock and roll: Eric Clapton, the Neville Brothers, even something like Lynard Skynard.  Some Jimmy Buffett.

Have you read any good books lately?
I just read John Adams by David McCullough.  Adams was instrumental in getting the U.S. Navy started.   I also read some fiction, The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth.

What sailing gear do you depend on?
A Ronstan Skiff suit, a Henri Lloyd spray top, Musto offshore top and bibs, Dubarry boots, Gill undergarments - rash guard-type stuff - and Gill wet socks.  Someone recently turned me on to Atlas $5 garden gloves.  Awesome grip.

What's your advice to a young racing sailor?
Don't get frustrated by not winning.  You have to have patience.  Keep your ears open.  There are a lot of great people in this sport willing to share information.  Find those people.  Don't give up.

Article and Interview written by Molly Winans, published in Spinsheet December 2011.